On July 8, 2016, Western Oregon University’s most dedicated financial supporters were honored at the annual President’s Club Dinner. The event was held at Illahe Hills Country Club and featured toasts by Paul Kyllo, WOU Foundation Board chair, recent alumna Dominique Figueroa, President Rex Fuller, and Jim Baumgartner, chair of WOU’s Board of Trustees. Music was performed by students Jacob Marsh ’18 (bass) and Shawn Thornhill ’16 (guitar).
Figueroa, a first generation student from a low income family in Hood River, Ore., said she never thought she would be able to attend college let alone graduate in three years. She told the room of donors, “Your financial support has not only impacted my life, but impacted the lives of many other students in the Western community. Your financial support was tremendous and I just wanted to say to you guys – thank you.”
Fuller honored new members to the President’s Club (gifts between $1,000 and $2,499 over a fiscal year), the President’s Circle (gifts $2,500 and above), and those who reached the milestone of President’s Club level giving for 10 consecutive years. Those individuals are Sandy Newland, Larry and Janice Keudell, and Frank and Judy Vanderburg.
Fuller also recognized several individuals and organizations for milestone contributions to WOU, reaching the status of benefactor. Benefactors are those with lifetime cumulative contributions totaling $100,000 and above. The new benefactors are Dr. Beverly Freer, former Humanities faculty member, who listed WOU as a major beneficiary of her estate. The first Dr. Beverly Freer Scholarship will be awarded next year. Drs. Lance ’93 and Amy Marr have invested in athletics and specifically the WOU’s Men’s Basketball program.
The final two new benefactors are U.S. Bank and Oregon State Credit Union. U.S. Bank was represented by Chester Anonson ‘10 and Griffin Zollner. U.S. Bank began supporting the U.S. Bank Presidential Scholarship in the early 1980s and has since supported more than 30 WOU students on their path to earning a college degree. Oregon State Credit Union was represented by Jim Gibson, Peggy Mehl and Molly McDermond. Oregon State Credit Union began sponsoring a student scholarship in 2002 and has also supported Wolves Athletics, the Smith Fine Arts Series and many other campus programs.
“As I survey this room, it is evident how important each of you here tonight, and those listed in the program, are to our long term success,” said Fuller, during his toast. “Whether you support a scholarship, an academic program, athletics or give an unrestricted gift, each of those pieces make up the whole experience for our students. You provide students the opportunity to transform.”